As a Roblox developer, it is currently too hard to remove old assets/items I uploaded that might be subject to Copyrighted Material
If Roblox is able to address this issue, it would improve my development experience because this would Prevent a LOT of DMCA Issues currently happening on the platform.
Right now, Roblox suffers from a LOT of issues related to DMCA System, which can sometimes gets abused, or if used by a company, can falsely Flag items for using names such as “Barbie, Jackson, Jordan” or any other names which are also related to celebrities, pop stars, &/or brands.
Because these brands don’t care about what the virtual item actually is, they will most likely use an automated system to send out DMCAs and Flag items for copyright strikes.
I’ve been emailing the copyright agent to help me with removals for weeks, even months at this point, and I still couldn’t get at least one item removed.
Over the past few weeks, people kept getting their Roblox accounts TERMINATED because of 2D & 3D avatar items they uploaded years ago, OR had no idea could even be Striked.
A Personal example I had, is a piece of hair called “Jackson” which got flagged by Michael Jackson’s Trademark owners, because of the name including “Jackson”. (still working with support & the brand on having this solved)
Another example, would be Skibidi Toilet, which recently started to DMCA strike Roblox developers & Creators, for uploading Skibidi toilet content.
For those unfamiliar, this first started as a meme on the internet, and later became something more than just a meme, however a LOT of creators started to make content based of this before it was even trademarked, and suddenly they wake up with DMCA strikes, because of it. Lot’s of Roblox developers were panicked, and got to their final strike because of this.
A few improvements I have thought of, and will mention, are the following: The ability to delete items manually, Allowing more options to people to get rid of DMCA strikes even if they can’t fight the DMCA, DMCA strikes & Account access bans being separate.
Starting with the ability to manually delete items:
- The users should have an option to fully delete their catalog avatar items (2D & 3D UGC Accessories, bodies and clothing), if they pay the stocks that the item produced. (eg: earnt 100k Robux, pays 100k Robux to delete)
- User needs to have email verification, 2-step & pin turned on to make sure the creator in order to prevent 3rd party/intruders on the account from deleting items if the user got compromised
- The deleting process, would be Similar to DevEx, to make sure the user isn’t a 3rd Party intruder on the account. User sends the information & request to delete the item & if the user has enough Robux balance, they will be getting an approved email (or notification on the creator page) that they’re eligible for deleting the item. If not, they would get rejected.
- Item deletion process would take 24 hours after the user got approved, accepted the ToS, and clicked the Delete Button. This would also give the user an option to cancel the deletion within 24hrs, in case they change their mind.
More options to get rid of DMCA strikes:
- If the person that got DMCA’d knows their can’t be appealed, because at the time they Uploaded it, the current item had no copyright, and later got trademarked, they should have the option to remove the strike off their account.
- They could have to attend to a Roblox course (probably in later future) about ToS, Copyright & other behavior on Roblox related questions (and even internet related).
- DMCAs could automatically expire after 1-4 Months, depending on which offense the user is on (eg: Strike 1: 1 month, Strike 2: 3 months, Strike 3: Monetization removed for 6 months, And final, Monetization removed from the account)
- If a game has been striked, the developers of the game have 1 week to remove the content before the game will be closed down/demonetized (maybe punish the game by removing it’s monetization for a short period of time, depending on the strike).
DMCA strikes & Account access/bans being separate:
- If DMCA strikes would be separate from account bans, they would act as ONLY a warning & an item deletion.
- This would prevent people that don’t care about monetizing their platform from getting their account banned over stuff they uploaded months, even years (or decades) ago, which they forgot about.
- If somebody, like a kid who doesn’t know or can’t understand copyright rules, gets their “Spongebob pants” deleted, they wouldn’t have to worry about their account getting banned, or terminated.
- This would be a healthier environment for users that don’t care about monetizing aspect of Roblox, and would rather enjoy playing games, than creating clothing, accessories & games.
Now, what other improvements/changes could be done to the copyright & how moderation for it works?
- Every DMCA strike, would be a warning, to let the user know they broke the rules, or did something bad, without having their access taken away from their account.
- Everybody would have a 1 week suspension from uploading/publishing avatar items, decals, audios and/or other types of assets if they got a DMCA strike
- The user would be suspended from DevEx-ing robux for a week (or permanent suspension from DeVex-ing if their account got their final strike before the others expired)
- First ever DMCA/Strike, would be like a permanent mark on their account (eg: after first ever strike, the 3-Strikes rule is applied)
- If the user got their final strike, they will be prohibited from: Publishing assets, Experiences, DevEx-ing robux, selling USD/Real Currency assets (such as subscriptions)
- All their paid items would go off sale (similar to UGC perms being taken away from UGC creators, but instead, would be ANY type of asset)
- They can only earn robux from trades, selling the limited items they invested
- They can only use robux on Catalog items, Gamepasses, Dev Products & Other paid assets (No way of using the robux outside of roblox)
- User can’t be paid from Groups funds unless they are the owner of the group (would prevent people from Uploading copyrighted content into a group & risk their account, while the group still generates income)
- If a user uploaded a clothing item/game (or created any asset) as part of a group, but they left the group, their shouldn’t get striked for their asset, group owner should instead.
Why would this improve Roblox?
- If a child unfamiliar with Copyright & Legal trademarks uploads stuff on Roblox that is owned by a brand/company gets DMCA striked, they would still be able to play their favorite experiences, without waking up to a termination and then having no chance of getting their progress back
- People pay a LOT of money collecting toy codes & Spend a LOT of time collecting event items, and they could have all of this taken away in 1 second, if a brand strikes down their item
- There would be less false/unfair terminations of accounts that respect ALL rules of Roblox but uploaded an unfortunate asset that looked similar to a branded/trademarked design
- This would prevent & discourage people from false DMCA striking other creators, for just uploading SIMILAR items with no relevance to each other (eg: If creator A uploads some black & green headphones, they can DMCA creator B for uploading a very similar item, even if creator B had no idea of creator A’s item, and their design is also different)
- A lot of talented creators wouldn’t lose their Roblox access because of a few accidental & unfortunate item design choices.
With all of this said, I would like to know the opinion of other creators, as well as seeing at least more than half, if not all, features coming into the near future. Right now it’s a pain to deal with item deletion & DMCA strikes issues, and will become an even bigger issue once Roblox decides to open up the avatar items creation in soon 2024, so I believe this change would be better for & benefit both Roblox & Creators.